In 2003, Virginia was in last place among state spending on the environment. Thus began an effort that by 2006 evolved into the non-profit organization VIRGINIAforever. Our diverse group of environmental advocates and business leaders began in earnest its work to encourage greater spending on the environment by the Virginia General Assembly.

Since our formation, VIRGINIAforever has been influential in expanding land and water conservation programs in addition to sustaining results-driven, state-funded programs to improve the quality of life in Virginia. We do so through our strong advocacy efforts.

How we advocate

VIRGINIAforever meets with agency heads and key government officials, attends committee meetings and hearings, and conducts direct outreach to lawmakers. We help educate decision makers on current land and water concerns, as well as the impact of funding and budget amendments on environmental programs. We closely monitor budget discussions affecting the Water Quality Improvement Fund and the Virginia Land Conservation Fund.

What we advocate for

VIRGINIAforever developed a five-year plan that sets for funding goals for 2015 through 2019.

We call on the Commonwealth to achieve the following five-year funding goals for land conservation:

$833,785,000 to protect:

  • 120,000 acres of working farms
  • 240,000 acres of forestland
  • 50,000 acres of historic places
  • 40,000 acres of natural areas
  • 50,000 acres of recreational lands

We call on the Commonwealth to achieve the following five-year funding goals for water quality improvement:

$805,000,000 to include:

  • $50 million for wastewater treatment facility upgrades from fiscal year 2017 through fiscal year 2019
  • $50 million each year for stormwater management
  • $505 million over the next five years for agricultural best management practices

Read our full report here.

How you can help

VIRGINIAforever greatly appreciates support from land and water advocates across the Commonwealth. You can help VIRGINIAforever’s advocacy efforts by contacting your legislator to express your concern about land preservation and water quality issues and request his or her support for increased state funding for natural resource protection. For tips on contacting your legislator, contact us.